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Surface Vessel Weapon System
EuroTorp MU90 Torpedo
 
 
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The MU90 Impact is an advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo of the 3rd generation developed by France and Italy for navies of France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Australia and Poland. It is designed to compete with and outperform the United States-built Mark 54 in the anti-submarine role, and has also been developed in a special MU90 Hard Kill version for torpedo anti-torpedo defence. The MU90 is built by EuroTorp, a consortium of French and Italian companies.

History:
The MU90 was the result of separate projects in France and Italy from the 1980s. In France, a project under the direction of Thomson Sintra created the "Murène" in 1989, while in Italy Whitehead started work on an A244 replacement known as the A290. In 1990 the first attempts to merge the two efforts started, a process that was completed in 1993 with the formation of EuroTorp.

The French intended to use the new torpedo on their frigates, Atlantique 2 aircraft, Lynx helicopters and NFH90 helicopters. They originally wanted 1000 units, but the end of the Cold War saw their requirement cut to 600 in 1991, 450 in 2000 and finally 300 torpedoes in 2008. The project has cost France €1,150m (~US$1,500m) in 2012 prices at a unit cost of €1.6m (~US$2.1m), or €3.8m (~US$5m) including development costs. 25 torpedoes per year will be delivered to France until 2014.

Design:
The MU90 is capable against any current or perceived threat, including a bottomed stationary mini-submarine, known versions of anechoic coatings, and various decoys. It is also capable of launch speeds up to 400 knots (740 km/h; 460 mph) allowing it to be dropped from maritime patrol aircraft flying at high speeds, or rocket-assist launchers. Powered by an electric pump-jet, it can be run at "silent" speeds to avoid giving its location away to the submarine, or "dash" at speeds over 29 knots. It uses a shaped charge warhead that can penetrate any known submarine hull, in particular Soviet double hull designs, while remaining just as deadly in shallow waters where conventional warheads are less effective.

In 1986 France and Italy began a collaboration to develop an anti-submarine missile based on the Italian Otomat missile. France dropped out of the programme but Italy has fitted the MBDA MILAS missile to its Durand de la Penne-class destroyers and FREMM anti-submarine frigates. MILAS is a 800 kg (1,800 lb) missile that can deliver a MU90 to 35 kilometres (19 nmi).

Exports:
After deciding that its Mark 46 torpedoes were inadequate, Australia set up the JP2070 project in 1998 to buy torpedoes for its Adelaide-class frigates, Anzac-class frigates, AP-3C Orion aircraft, S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters and planned SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite helicopters. The Seasprites were cancelled and the Orions and Seahawks were removed from the MU90 programme on budget grounds; their replacements, the P-8 Poseidon and MH-60R Seahawk will use the US Mark 54 torpedo. The A$639m project to buy a classified number of MU90 has been heavily criticised by the Australian National Audit Office on the grounds of cost, insufficient test firings which failed to reveal defects in the torpedo, and the lack of commonality with the Navy's air-launched torpedoes. The MU90 reached IOC in November 2012.

General characteristics:
Primary Function: air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo
Manufacturer: EuroTorp
Propulsion: electric pump-jet
Length: 2,85 meters (9.35 feet)
Weight: 304 kg (670 lb)
Diameter: 12.75 in (324 mm)
Range:
Depth:
Speed: 50+ knots (93+ km/h)
Guidance System: active or passive acoustic homing
Warhead: PBX shaped charge
In service:

Operators:
Australia
Denmark
Egypt
France
Germany
Italy
Morocco
Poland

source: wikipedia

EuroTorp is a consortium formed in July 1993 by French and Italian defense companies. Concerned governments signed a memorandum of understanding on industrial co-operation on their new generation lightweight torpedo programs.

Member companies of EuroTorp are:
Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei S.p.A (WASS) (50%)
DCNS Group, for and on behalf of DCNS (26%) through DCN/SC/Stz
Thales (24%) through Thales Underwater Systems
  
images

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MU90 training torpedo was launched from a French Navy Aquitaine/FREMM class Frigate

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MU90 torpedo on a NH90 Caiman helicopter

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MU90 torpedo on a NH90 Caiman helicopter

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MU90 torpedo was loaded onto a NH90 Caiman helicopter

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MU90 torpedo was launched from a Westland Lynx helicopter

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MU90 torpedo on a Westland Lynx helicopter

 
  
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